Lindsey Buckingham Interview
on BBC Radio One

 

With Johnny Walker
Interview Date - 27th June 1992

 

Plays Don't Let Me Down Again

Johnny Walker (JW): Lindsey Buckingham is with us to play live and talk about life with and without Fleetwood Mac, but first here is a song he donated to the Tango In The Night album. This is Family Man

Plays Family Man

JW: Family Man from Fleetwood Mac's 1987 album Tango In The Night, a song written by Lindsey Buckingham. When you chart the sort of musical sounds of the summer of '92 which I guess we will do towards the end of this year, high up their as a sort of sound of the summer will be an album called Out Of The Cradle which is going to be released in the UK in mid-July. And the album is a solo effort by Lindsey Buckingham, about whom Timothy White writing in American's Billboard Magazine says "The Album Out Of The Cradle ultimately reminds the listener that for two decades Lindsey Buckingham has been one of rock and roll's most original musical draughtsman's". Umm craftsma's I think may have been a better word.

Lindsey Buckingham (LB): (laughs)

JW: Lindsey Buckingham is here, not with a drawing board but with his guitar, good afternoon, how are you?

LB: How are you Johnny, nice to be here.

JW: That Fleetwood Mac situation weren't you in 1987 sort of the middle of a solo project, and in a way you handed over four of your best songs, to keep the family together.

LB: Well, Yeah in a sense, I mean ironically that song their Family Man, err Tango In The Night was an album that which kind of cut off the idea of a third solo album at that time and Big Love which was the first single from that album was also pretty much totally done, both these songs were pretty much finished and err a song called Caroline, and at that time you know that group was a bit fragmented anyway, err they were about five managers and a whole bevy of lawyers which was both comical and a little sad at the same time. I had a choice of either continuing on to make the solo record and kind of extending that fragmentation by just showing up in the studio and be on the periphery, or to sort of surrender to the situation and to try and make it more of a family thing because I pretty much had the idea that that was going to be the last work with the group, so we choose the later.

JW: I mean the album put them way back up there, Big Love was the biggest hit that had in ages.

LB: Right, yeah.

JW: All in the year of 1987 and then you left.

LB: Well you know, I had not been that happy in that situation for maybe a couple of years before that, because at least in my perception it was an atmosphere that was not very contusive to creativity anymore and err at the same time being the one who pretty much responsible for taking the raw material in the studio and fashioning it into records from the other two writers and myself, I mean that's a certain responsibility and it seemed to me that getting through the record and then leaving before the tour was going to be less of a blow for them then if I had left say before a record because they had the new material, they could in a sense not even miss a beat you know and just sort of find someone else or as in turns out two (laughs) guitarists to err replace me.

JW: Now there's a compliment in itself.

LB: Yeah, well that was a sort of inside joke for a while and you know to be able to take that on the road and in the process of the tour sort of get their chops together with these other people and then be able to continue in the studio from there, so it was you know something I had wait to do until it was alright for everyone really.

JW: Well anyway that was then and this is now.

LB: Yes.

JW: A new album is about to be released as I said and I think in a way this track were going to do now called Countdown is a kind of auto-biographical of your situation in a way isn't it.

LB: In a way yeah, you know you find yourself in a group situation and you're got to concentrate on the aspects of your contribution that really relates to the group and sometimes if you go with that,  certain things that maybe important to you are kind of put off to the side or neglected a little bit, so one of the things I was able to do on this record was really after making the jump and taking more responsibility for my own happiness and my own creativity was to gather a few more creative tools in one place and concentrate on the guitar a little more and you know err.

JW: And there is a great guitar sound on this track.

LB: Yeah.

JW: The whole end of the track is this great sound, is that guitar going through a synthesiser or something or?

LB: No, a lot of people have asked that, I was watching television and there was a classical concert on and it occurred to me that a guitar that sounded a bit like a violin would be something interesting, so we thinned it way out and slowed the track down just a little bit and it came up sounding like a little bit of a bee sting.

JW: Lindsey Buckingham and Countdown.

Plays Countdown.

JW: A tasty little solo Mr Buckingham.

LB: (laughs) thank you.

JW: Very nice, going to be the new single out in about a week or two from now, called Countdown from Lindsey Buckingham, one of the tracks on the album out in mid July which is called Out Of The Cradle. I love this photograph in the CD notes of you in the studio.

LB: Yeah, that's my house.

JW: A man surrounded by his gadgets.

LB: (laughs) And a black velvet Elvis there somewhere too. (laughs) The Elvis shrine.

JW: So how about doing something live for us?

LB: Sure I thought that after Countdown that maybe I'd try to touch on the more reflective side of the album a little bit. I was going to, umm, there are several instrumentals, pure guitar instrumentals pieces on the album and I thought maybe I would dovetail one of those into a song. The song itself is called Street Of Dreams and it was written about my own loneliness a bit, my father who had died years ago, after he died I used to go up and talk to him and this is sort of a song that address that and then the instrumental which is actually a piece by Rodgers and Hammerstein was one of his favourite songs, so in a sense they tie together and I thought I would dovetail those two together.

JW: OK, great.

Lindsey plays This Nearly Was Mine and Street Of Dreams

JW: Lindsey Buckingham playing live on One FM, Street Of Dreams from his new album. Lots of people I think do talk to someone they love when they moved on to the other place but they are not always courageous enough to publicly say so.

LB: Well, you know this album..not specifically the subject matter but the emotional tone is about distancing yourself and trying to put any period of time that has good and bad things going on for you in the healthiest possible perspective, so in some ways there was some tie in between early family life, real family life and the family life of Fleetwood Mac and so a lot of these things got mixed up and were addressed in the same way, so this was something that seemed to fit.

JW: Cause he and your Aunt probably got together, that Aunt that left you $12,000 or something, was that you Father's sister?

LB: No actually, I have no idea who that was, (laughs) that was an aunt that I had never even met and err out of the blue my two bothers and I both got left $12,000 from a house that was left to us and you know oddly enough through that I was able to purchase my first AMPEX four track on which I really really cut my teeth in terms of being able to meld a guitar style and pop censurability with the art of recording.

JW: Just talking about family and things, going back to that BuckinghamNicks album, that we played a track from earlier on, it says dedicated to AJ Nicks - the grandfather on country music. Stevie's dad or?

LB: No , her Grandfather, he was an aspiring Country & Weston singer and he was quite a colourful guy, he never made it as a Country singer and he was a little frustrated, but he had a lot of, he'd written a couple of great songs and I think he was probably somewhat of an influence on Stevie, in her fledgling days.

JW: Well he got his name on a good album, that should be out on CD shouldn't it?

LB: You know, Stevie and I brought the rights back to that a couple of years OK, and there just hasn't been a time when it seemed opportune, umm I've understood.. about six months ago I found out that of the things you can't get on CD, that's like number one requested, so we'll probably put that out beginning of next year I have a feeling.

JW: Yeah, I think you waiting for you're album to do really well, maybe get a better deal.

LB: Well yeah, I don't want to complete with myself. (laughs)

JW: Alright, I know you are looking forward to playing live the tracks from the album, will you incorporate any Fleetwood Mac songs.

LB: Oh sure, I think it's foolish to try and ignore you're past and again in the same way of looking at things as I was talking about the record, not to be proud of it and err there is some many staples of the Fleetwood Mac show that would be to my benefit to do live, I mean Go Your Own Way, the live version of So Afraid was really one of the highlights of the show, a song that I m ay do a little later today Never Going Back Again.

JW: Why don't you may to it now.

(Both laugh)

LB: OK, anyway, yeah the live show is going to be great because we could do some really, just me on acoustic in the same way you are hearing it now and then I was thinking about getting a bass player and a drummer who are almost jazz orientated and do some of the show as a  three piece, then of course the rest of it, you'd have to section out to cover the more elaborate things well, so I'm really looking forward to touring, never had a chance to do that before on my own, it's going to be a lot of fun.

JW: When might that be in the UK? Any ideas?

LB: Well, that's a little up in the air right now, we have things to do here and we have some more press to do in the States, and I think we may come back here again before we have a chance to really start rehearsing, but looking for the musicians is next on the list once we get back, it's coming up soon.

Lindsey plays a few chords

JW: OK, can we hear that song then

LB: Yeah

Lindsey still playing cords

LB: New Strings

LB: Yeah this is a song that is a lot older, in a way it's taken on a new meaning for me cause I was in a good frame of mind when I wrote it, and things goes in cycles and it's sort of come back on itself. So this is called Never Going Back Again

Lindsey plays Never Going Back Again

JW: That was fantastic, great Lindsey Buckingham Never Going Back Again.

LB: Thanks

JW: Did you have formal classical training on guitar or?

LB: No, oddly enough I 'm really a total primitive in that sense, I mean it may not come off that way, but I started playing very young, I have an older brother who started bringing home rock n' roll and I learned to play the records, I 've never had a lesson and can't read music for that matter, so it's just something I developed on my own.

JW: Well listen it's a delight in having you this afternoon, thanks for coming in.

LB: Oh, my pleasure

JW: Really good, and I look forward to you coming back with the band.

LB: Alright, yep, we'll see you then

JW: Alright, Lindsey Buckingham, let's do another track from the new album and this is Soul Drifter.

Plays Soul Drifter

JW: Lindsey Buckingham from the fore coming album Out Of The Cradle and Soul Drifter and before that you heard him play live a Fleetwood Mac song from the Rumours album Never Going Back Again with some stunning guitar work.

 

This interview was transcribed exactly as the interview was given in June 1992.

 


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